MindYourBusyNess: September 2009


On 17th Jun 2009 I started writing this blog as an assignment of ‘On line content writing course’. The first posting ‘About us’ stated the mission statement of the blog. Today after 3 months, at the eve of 25th posting when hit counter have crossed 2K mark, I feel this is the time to consider and discuss once again about the very purpose of this blog. (I intend doing it periodically) Some of the aspects are highlighted below- Target audience - Anyone who works. It may be professional work, business related work or even unpaid work like a housewife. People who are not working currently but it was a part of their life or it is included in their future plan (retired persons, students, unemployed etc.) may also be interested in this blog.(Who is left then?) Focus on techniques – The theme is not specific or affiliated to any particular type of work or industry. It is applicable to any type of work. The focus is to evolve globally applicable techniques for better productivity and work environment. Commercial angle – The main purpose is to share and exchange views and ideas rather than earning money or selling some products indirectly. However, as the traffic will grow some commercial activities will also be taken selectively. My Role - I consider myself as initiator only for this platform. Postings by other writers will also be included so that readers can have versatile contents and views. Guest writers are welcomed to e-mail me their contents.


In our interaction with others at workplace, there is lot of give and take action. What you receive is instructions from seniors and feedback from subordinates. What you give out is instructions to subordinates and feedback to seniors. You have no control on what you receive. It is on the judgment of others. You can improve upon what you give to others. Improving the quality of your instructions and feedback will make you efficient and more productive. Isn’t it?


Are you underpaid? Does your designation is lower than your capabilities? If you strongly feel ‘YES’ as an answer to any of above questions, it’s time to talk to your management and asking for a raise. Before that you will have to do some home work. Since it is an important project of your career, the preparation has to be of high quality. Investing appropriate amount of time will pay you better results. Following points will help you to prepare well- Find reasons – There will be reason on the basis of which you have concluded that your present salary/designation is not enough. List all those reasons. Analysis- Analyze all the reasons one by one. Think of other aspects which can come in the discussions with each reason. Can you convince other person on the issues? Drop the reasons which are confusing. Arrange them in order (Most convincing on the top). Evidence- Do you have some evidence for your beliefs/reasons? If the evidence is in the form of a document, keep its copy ready to show it during your discussion. If the evidence is any person, go and talk to him/her. Initiate a discussion on the relevant topic and gauge that the person will support your cause if his/her opinion is taken. Rating – Rate yourself honestly among your co-workers. List your achievements (preferably recent). Think of your skill sets and qualities. Also list your weaknesses and a plan to overcome each. Rehearsal- Rehearsal is an important part of any event. You have to practice enough times to speak up your desire against possible hostile conditions. Take help of your best fiend, colleague or close relative. If none of these is available, use mirror for practice. Once you find yourself competent enough to take on the project, look for an appropriate opportunity for dialogue with the relevant person in your organization (In most cases it will be your boss). Take appointment if required. At the meeting time, remain calm but firmly focused to your mission. The result should be encouraging.


You work for your employer. You get paid for your work which is done as per your responsibilities defined by your employer (sometimes not very clearly). Does that balance out the equation? Your employer is also an organization and an institution. Employees are transients only and their association with organizations is for limited period only. As long as you work there (at least) you sincerely want that the organization should evolve and grow. Don’t you? What is the contribution from your side in this regard? Doesn’t it deserve an extra bit from your side? An action A thought A suggestion For the betterment of your organization, irrespective of your role. You contribute for your country, your society, your religion (if you believe in one) or any other institute you value. Why not for your employer??


Are you branded by colleagues too fast or too slow in some activity? What do you do about it? Is it really a matter of concern? We all have our natural pace of working comfortably. This may be different for different activities. You may be below or above the average pace in many activities. As long as it does not affect your work directly, there is no reason to get perturbed about it. Why waste energies to change your pace to (believed) average pace? It is like shaping your body to fit into available ‘ready made garments’. You always have an option of wearing tailor made clothes. You can also think about designer made clothes, if your resources permit this. So enjoy your rhythm.


Are you without a job nowadays? • Fallout of recession, • Trying to enter job market first time, • Had to close your business and looking for a job Or whatever may be reason. No doubts, the situation would be difficult. If you don’t have big property or alternate source of income, the situation will be even worse. Management of your liabilities would be a tough exercise daily. Each payment of bill will be leaving a scar. Confused in mind and low in self esteem? Honestly, what are you doing to come out of this situation? More importantly how aggressively are you trying to reverse the cycle of circumstances. Some suggestions are given below. (Beware; mere reading a suggestion will not improve your situation. Action on suggested method or a triggered solution in your mind due to this reading will do the change.) Optimum Use of technology – We are living in a technology driven world today. Mobile phone and internet has made your reach global. But it is available to almost everyone. The catch is its intelligent use. It is not enough to post your CV on one or two job search portals and forget about it. Do some research and try to see the expectations of your possible employers on their websites/ networking forums. Do you fit in this or lacking some skills? Is it possible for you to acquire the required skills? Also make maximum use of search agents provided on job portals. Using appropriate key words and filter will yield better search results than generic ones. Focus on goal- Job search is a tedious work and associated often with unpleasant experiences. It is very common to loose interest unknowingly. The actions are then performed as rituals and attention is diverted to other less important activities. Don’t let your main goal slip out of focus under any circumstance. Widen your network – Social networking was never as easy as it is today. Try to establish contact on social networking sites with people who are in the same boat (job hunters in similar areas).You may gain from their experiences. Also make some friends who are working on the jobs which you want to achieve. You may get very fine tips from these friends. Think about each of your friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors etc. Use data of your contacts from email or mobile phone connection. Now shortlist the names that can help you in your job search. Talk to each of these to get the possible help. Persistence- ‘consistent efforts and keeping patience’ is the mantra for success in job search. Don’t let your emotional impulses block your calculated and sincere efforts. Don’t loose hope. Hope is the guiding factor for efforts and only efforts will bring the results.


As we grow at our workplace, the number of subordinates working under us also increases. We may not be personally interacting with all of these. But these poor souls wait for our instructions and speculate on our moves/intentions. Directly or indirectly the plans, life and career of our subordinates is shaped (or ruined) by our instructions. To harness the synergies of our subordinates as a disciplined workforce, we need to be respected as bosses. Subordinates should see us as a role model and get motivated. What can we do to earn the respect of our subordinates? Given below are some suggestions in this regard - • Be polite –Often we are rude with our subordinates without realizing that. In fact it is treated as accepted behavior generally. Sometimes it is done to confirm or show our authority over them. Some of us develop this rudeness pattern as style and some use it to keep a distance from the subordinates. Whatever is the reason, if you behave rudely with your subordinates, consider being polite- you don’t loose anything but gains are enormous. • Explain to minutest details – Generally we tend to utter our instructions or requirements in short burst. Lot of details is left. Unless your subordinates know mind reading, they will curse you on such encounters. It is a good habit to have patience and explain to the minutest details about our instructions. If you miss out some details, chances are that your subordinates will work on their assumptions not yours. • Insult in private – There are circumstances when we want to hurt the subordinates, to give him/her a jolt to awaken the consciousness. We may have to say or do something insulting. That’s O.k. occasionally, in spite of the above mentioned point about politeness. But remember, if you have to do this, make sure this is done in privacy, not in public/ in presence of others. • Be professional – Deal with them professionally and try avoiding favor-ism. Don’t ever use them. • Human approach to problem –Keep the human angle in mind before making critical decisions. Honor their point of view, howsoever silly it may appear. • Face saving option– If a mistake of subordinate has been detected and he/she realizes it, forgive and forget by giving a face saving option to the concerned person.


A teacher was telling his students, ‘It is our duty to help others.’ One of the student got up and asked, ‘Sir, if we help others (to do their work) then what will they (others) do?’ On the face of it, it looks like a logical question. But life is much more than mere logic. If we view from very narrow and limited prospective and view all others as competitors then helping others looks like a wasteful activity. However, when we think on a broader plane we will realize that helping others is a very fulfilling and refreshing activity. An example of this can be seen in our family, specially where small children are there. Do we not enjoy helping a child in what ever he/she is doing, be it walking, writing, drawing or learning? It is a pleasure and a treat to help the child in any activity. One may say, ‘That’s O.K. with children who need support for living but why this should be applicable to grown ups who are supposed to do their work? But, don’t we help our brother, sister, parent, neighbor, friend or colleague (or anyone else whom we care) when we find them not able to do what they are doing? Sometime they (the other party) are not even aware about our help. We don’t claim credit for that. Our reward is the little smile which we are able to bring to their faces. On the other hand, if we analyze the amount of help one has been getting from others in the life; it will turn out to be a colossal. Can’t you remember the helps you got by others when you lost your way or forgot to bring something or committed a mistake? The secret of fast progress of mankind is because we help each otters in the process of development. Whatever one decides or chooses to do, the society (for which family is the basic unit) is the platform where he keeps on getting opportunities and experiences which becomes ‘means to his/her end’. Due to this social bonding and caring for each other we are able to perform complex tasks in our daily lives easily. For achieving the desired results of our intentions in the life, we are obliged to (so many) others in a society-whether we know them personally or not. The spirit to help others is the driving force behind any invention. All the amenities and privileges of modern time which we are enjoying have been created by those who thought of helping others. We take these things for granted, but imagine if there is no electricity, no vehicle, no computers, and no phones (and so on…), how miserable our life will become. So helping others is a good habit on whatever standard we evaluate it. Isn’t it?